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Ugwuanyi Hails Enugu Women’s Development Strides

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Women of Enugu State have been commended for the noble roles they play in the development of the state in particular and the nation in general.
The state Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi made the commendation while speaking during the flag-off of this year’s August Meeting for women held at Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, with the theme: “Women and children must be protected as a bedrock of our community”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi stressed that women, worldwide, have contributed immensely in the development of the society, adding that his administration at its inception recognised the pivotal roles played by women in the initiation and effective implementation of government policies and programmes.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, Gov. Ugwuanyi pointed out that it was in recognition of the above that Enugu State today has the first female Deputy Governor as well as the first female Chief Judge of the State, in the persons of Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo and Hon. Justice Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu, respectively.
The governor further disclosed that four women were elected as members of the State House of Assembly with three serving as Principal Officers of the House, pointing out that his administration appointed women as Commissioners for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Finance, and Special Duties.
Stressing his commitment to women’s participation in governance, Gov. Ugwuanyi revealed that a woman was elected as Chairman of a local government area under his administration, for the first time in the history of Enugu State.
He therefore reiterated the state government’s commitment to continue to partner women in all sectors of development for the common good of the people of the state.
Ugwuanyi also commended his wife, Mrs. Monica Ugochi Ugwuanyi for the laudable roles she is playing through her pet project, Ugo’s Touch of Life Foundation (U-TOLF) and other children/women intervention and emancipation programmes.
The state chief Executive maintained that the annual August Meeting is timely and a veritable platform for women to unite, reflect and interact on development issues as well as proffer solutions to the challenges confronting them in particular and the society in general.
He therefore urged them to utilise the unique opportunity the gathering provides to chart a new course for their wellbeing, that of their families and the society at large.
In her speech, the Enugu State Governor’s wife, Mrs. Ugwuanyi, emphasised the need for women to take their rightful positions in the scheme of things in the state in particular and the country in general.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi who charged the women to always endeavour to upgrade their cherished sterling qualities, such as education, humility, intelligence, good home management, community leadership, among others, advocated for girl-child education, which she said, liberates the society from the shackles of poverty, ignorance, enslavement, diseases and other problems.
She expressed delight that the Gov. Ugwuanyi administration recognises the roles of women in governance as evidenced in the emergence of the first woman Deputy Governor and first woman Chief Judge, among other enviable positions in the state.
Earlier in her remarks, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Princess Peace Nnaji, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi and his wife for signing the Child Rights Act into law and their tenacity towards the fight against gender-based violence in Enugu State, among other women-friendly programmes aimed at improving the living standard of women and children.
Major highlights of the event also include a march-past by women from the 17 LGAs and inspection of farm produce from the council areas by Mrs. Ugwuanyi.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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NDLEA Arrests 774 Suspects, Seizes 3,874.3kgs Of Drugs In Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau

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NDLEA arrested 774 suspects and seized 3,874.3kgs of various narcotics and psychotropic substances in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau State in the first half of 2022.
The three states make the Zone D of the narcotics agency.
Zonal Commander in the zone Umoru Ambrose, said this in Lafia yesterday while marking the 2022 UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
He said 134 drug suspects were prosecuted during the period, while 378 drug users were counselled and rehabilitated.
He added that states in the zone had intensified their operations in the War against Drug Abuse and sensitisation.
Ambrose called on all stakeholders to get involved in curbing drugs menace in the zone.
In his remarks, NDLEA Commander in Nasarawa State, Peter Odaudu, said the celebrations underscored the need for access to proper treatment for people with drug disorders.
He stressed that the war against drugs must be intensified in Nasarawa State especially given its position as the second highest drug prevalence state in the North Central after Kwara.
“Statistics from the 2018 drug survey showed a very alarming trend, the involvement of females in drug issues.
“We have at least one female out of every four drug users; this development is worrisome and must be reversed,’’ he said.
Odaudu thanked Nasarawa State’s Governor Abdullahi Sule for his support for the NDLEA and solicited urgent intervention in the provision of operational vehicles and the construction of a rehabilitation centre.
Guest speaker, Mr Nwora Okpalaeke, who is coordinator of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria in Nasarawa State, said 494,000 users died of drug abuse in 2019.
He spoke on “Illicit Drugs in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’’
He said drug abusers suffered liver cirrhosis, stroke, hepatitis, kidney and heart failure, noting that 14.3 million Nigerians are drug addicts, while three million are suffering from drug-related disorders.
“Government should strengthen the system to prevent proliferation of drugs and pay attention to agencies charged with reversing the situation.
“Drug abuse affects economic growth; the higher the abuse the higher the level of insecurity and poverty,’’ he said.
Senior Special Assistant on Primary Healthcare to Governor Sule, Margaret Elayo, commended the NDLEA in the state and assured of partnership to curb drug abuse in Nasarawa State.
The theme for this year’s celebration of the Day is: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’

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NDLEA Arrests 218 Suspects, Seizes 1,471.314kg Of Drugs In Imo

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The Imo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 218 drug suspects made up of 171 males and 47 females.
The agency has also seized 1,471.314kg of drugs between July 2021 and June 2022.
The state commandant, NDLEA, Mr. Reuben Apeh, disclosed this while speaking to The Tide ahead of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs Trafficking.
He said that 1,458.49kg of Cannabis Sativa, 1,0513kg of cocaine, 0.2077kg of Heroine, 3.896kg of Methamphetamine and 3.184kg of Tramadol were exhibits seized within the period under review.
Apeh disclosed further that cannabis farm in hectares was also destroyed in Imo State while 0.5278kg of Rohypnol and 2.5135kg of diazepam were among the seized exhibits.
He stated that some of the arrested suspects had been arraigned and convicted for drug related offences at the Federal High Court.
According to him, “Within the period covered, 51 were convicted and 145 were charged and their cases are still on going”.
Apeh described the drug situation in Imo State as worrisome, saying women have joined the illicit trade for financial gains.
He lamented that drug peddling was alarming among the younger generation in the state.
He, therefore, called on the stakeholders to partner with NDLEA to sensitize the society on the dangers of drug abuse.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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NDE Trains 750 Youths On Apprenticeship Skills In Imo

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The National Directorate for Employment (NDE) has commenced the training of 750 youths on various apprenticeship skills in Imo State.
Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, made this known while flagging off the training programme in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The Tide reports that the training is captured under the Advanced National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (A-NOAS) and Basic National Apprenticeship Scheme (B-NOAS) of the Directorate’s Department of Vocational Skills Development (VSD).
The training skills include barbing, basic tailoring, hairdressing, welding, event planning, make- up, confectionery and auto mechanic, among others.
Nuhu-Fikpo, represented by the State Coordinator of the NDE in Imo State, Mrs Ngozi Ihenacho, explained that the trainees include youths and women drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the intensive training programme will take place in the Directorate’s training centres, one in each senatorial district of the state, and last for three months.
He urged the trainees to utilise the opportunity provided by the training programme to acquire viable skills that would enable them become self-reliant, and thereby decongest the labour market, and reduce poverty and hunger.
“In today’s world, opportunities such as these are rare and hardly come on a platter and I  urge you, my dear beneficiaries, to take this opportunity serious, be punctual at the training venue with the aim of liberating yourselves from the chains of poverty and unemployment”, he advised.
Also speaking at the programme, Director of the VSD, Mallam Isa Abdu, explained that the training scheme would run simultaneously, with the beneficiaries receiving transport allowances for the duration of training.
Abdu, represented by a senior staff in VSD, Mr Onyekwelu Igwesi, said that expert trainers had been hired to conduct the training and urged the trainees to justify the opportunity given them to become employers of labour.
“All over the world, as the value of money depreciates, entrepreneurs are adjusting with the times, hence the need for viable skills that can drive the economy. Learn the skills and be your own boss”, he said.
One of the trainees, Miss Oluchi Uchenna, who responded on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the NDE for creating the opportunity for them to thrive in their quest to become economically independent.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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